As a small business owner, owning a website and getting traffic is difficult. SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the most important factors which can help you to increase your ranking in search engines. 

If you really want to grow your online business, there are certain SEO things you have to focus on. If you are not sure on what to focus, you can join hands with small business SEO service providers or hire an SEO expert to improve your search results.

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is a process of optimizing your website for improving search engine ranking that is related to your area, city, or country. 

Who needs local SEO?

Every business that has a specific address and operates in a specific place needs local SEO. Most of the people use the internet to search for businesses before they visit the place. If you miss the chance of displaying your business in front of them then, it means you are losing customers.

Benefits of local SEO for small business

Here are some benefits that you can acquire by practicing local SEO

  • Improve your search engine ranking
  • Improves conversion as most of the people are targeted audience
  • Increases brand awareness and visibility
  • Attract local customers
  • Receive a high return on investment (ROI)

How local SEO differs from general SEO?

General SEO is applicable for the entire global wide search whereas local SEO is applicable only for specific geographical location. 

If you are searching for a query on Google with your mobile, it will bring results near you as it already knows your current location. Likewise, if you are using your laptop and if you have allowed Google to track your location you will get nearby results.

11 steps- Local SEO checklist

Optimize your logo for local SEO

The first thing that search engines crawl in your website is the logo. Your SEO optimization process should start here. Make sure to include a descriptive image filename and ALT text.

For example,

  • Optimizing filename

If your web development company name is Small Business Web, then your logo filename can be ‘web-development-company-smallbusinessweb-logo.png’ instead of ‘logo.png’.  

  • Optimizing ALT text

ALT text is equally important for both images and logos. Adding ALT text to your logo can add more information like location so that search engines can crawl it easily.

For example, 

<img src=”http://example.com/images/web-development-company-smallbusinessweb-logo.png” alt=”Web Development Company smallbusinessweb, India”>

Also, add the location in title tag of the link as well,

<a href=”http://example.com/” title=” Web Development Company Small Business Web, India”><img src=” http://example.com/images/web-development-company-smallbusinessweb-logo.png” alt=”Web Development Company Small Business Web, India”></a>

Do not forget to use the same logo and ALT text across various channels like FaceBook, Google My Business page, Twitter, websites, etc. 

Make your titles, description, and URLs local SEO friendly

Titles and descriptions play a major role in local SEO. It should help the users and search engines to understand certain important things before visiting the website. Therefore, optimizing titles, URLs and description is a must.

A local SEO optimized title should have 50-60 characters which include your location and area phone if possible. Also, your URLs must include your location to target your local audience like “https://www.example.com/web-development-coimbatore”.

Here is an image that is title and description optimized.

Add NAP (name, address, and phone number) on the home page, footer, and consistent across all channels

Try to include your full address details like street number, postcode, state, country, telephone number (make sure to include a local number with area code and not a toll-free number), fax number, email, etc as a text on the home page, footer, and all channels. 

One of the important mistake that all people make is inconsistent NAP usage. Therefore, check whether your NAP information is the same on Facebook, Google My Business page, and other pages where you have listed your company. 
Here is an image from Reliable Soft that clearly explains the importance of NAP consistency,

NAP-Importance

Register your company with Google My Business and add Google Maps 

Google-My-Business-Listings-ColorWhistle

Google My Business listing is one of the significant SEO factors for local SEO. If you register your company with Google Business, Google will verify your address and ownership of the business by sending a code or making a phone call (depending upon your country). 

If your business is verified by Google then, your company will show on the Google Map as well as on the local results box in SERPs. At last, make sure to

  • Provide correct and accurate NAP information
  • Provide up-to-date opening hours of your business
  • Respond to customer reviews regularly
  • Add photos of your business to Google My Business page if possible

Register with Yahoo Small Business

Yahoo-My-Business-Listings

You can also register your business with Yahoo which offers service for local listings. This Yahoo service is not free, you have to pay between $10 – $30 /month. 

If you subscribed for Yahoo local listings, don’t forget to link it with Google My Business page as GMB can act as a hub to link all your local profiles. 

Register with Bing Small Business

Bing-My-Business-Listings

Bing Places for Business is free. It is another way to verify your online business information. Make sure you link your Bing profile with Google My Business and vice versa.

Register your business with local directories

Register your business with local directories. Be careful while choosing the local directories and remember to provide a consistent address. Here are some trusted local directories,

Run a link building campaign to get more links

Link building is an important tactic which can bring a huge impact on SEO efforts. Here are certain points on which you have to focus on,

  • Providing link-worthy content
  • Pursuing natural links
  • Promoting your website in all channels to acquire traffic
  • Optimizing content for Google featured snippet

Optimize your website for mobile

If you are trying to increase your customers locally, you must definitely concentrate on mobile optimization. 

Did you know? According to Google, 53% of mobile website visits are abandoned if the website takes more than 3 seconds to load on a mobile device. It also says that for every one-second delay there will be a fall by 12%. 

Therefore, mobile-friendly websites can improve user experience as well as website traffic. 

Start a blog and use internal linking with local SEO friendly anchor text

Try to post high-quality content regularly and do location-aware interlinking whenever possible. For example, if you are posting a blog related to web development, you can link your service page using anchor “website development services India”. This is a part of optimization. You can also include targeting local keywords to your blog title and content as well.

Create business pages on Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and other social networks

Maintaining an accurate profile on various social media channels like Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc can increase brand awareness. All these networks can suggest followers based on location or address information of your business. 

Winding-up

Local SEO is a valuable tool for businesses that want to utilize the internet and acquire new customers. Follow the steps provided in the above checklist and improve your web traffic, brand visibility, and receive all the advantages of investing in SEO. 

Have we missed anything in our checklist? Do comment below!

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